Our Aging Society

Before 2020, people aged 65 and older will outnumber children under age 5 for the first time in human history. By 2050, the 65+ population will be more than double that of the world’s youngest citizens.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau “An Aging World: 2015”

This seismic population inversion begs the question, “What impact will this have on our society?” Cultures around the world have traditionally relied on younger generations to care for aging family members. Countries like China, whose one-child policy succeeded in reducing the population, and Japan and Germany, which are experiencing some of the world’s lowest fertility rates, now face the challenge of having fewer adult children to care for their elders.

In the U.S., this population shift is starting to impact every facet of society, including health systems, government, the economy, and families caring for aging loved ones. It’s time to rethink how we might better meet the needs of an aging population.

To start, let’s take a closer look at the care ecosystem. According to the 2015 Cost of Care study from Genworth Financial Inc., at least 70 percent of Americans over the age of 65 will need some form of long-term care services and support during their lives. As the senior population grows, so will the number of people needing care. Who is going to provide this care? And who will be able to cover care costs?

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